by Georja Ryan
THE time to strike is now if you’re looking to get into the housing market with the buying climate the best it’s been in more than a decade, Gladstone real estate agents have said.
Low house prices and low interest rates create the ultimate recipe for those ready to get back into the market, but Ray White Gladstone director Andrew Allen said the iron wouldn’t stay hot for long.
“I have not seen a buying opportunity as good as this, certainly not in the past decade,” Mr Allen said.
“But this won’t last. We predict housing values and rental rates to spike in the next six to 12 months.”
The latest Herron Todd White report said with the market now at the bottom, “the timing is ripe for investors to snap up bargains in the area”.
Remax Gold Gladstone sales associate/director Shane McLeod said he’d noticed a flattening in the market of late, which was a sign of confidence rebuilding among buyers, especially investors.
“We’re seeing interest again from investors who are looking for something to give them a return,” Mr McLeod said.
“Now is when the smart ones are buying because with capital growth you make money when you buy, not when you sell.
“We’re really seeing movement we haven’t seen in a long time.”
He said interest spread further abroad than the borders of the region.
“It comes firstly from a local level, people start to regain their confidence, but we’re also hearing from investors in New Zealand, Sydney, Melbourne,” Mr McLeod said.
“I asked some of the people from New Zealand why they’re looking at Gladstone and they’re saying ‘the market is at the bottom, now is the time to buy’.”
While a total market recovery isn’t likely to happen overnight, the wheels are in motion to boost it back up to previous levels, and Mr Allen has confidence we’ll surprise even ourselves.
“Based on the fact houses are now selling for less than production value, and we saw how quickly it contracted, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think values could jump up 20% in the short term and up to $100k over 18 months to two years,” Mr Allen said.
With yields currently on the lower side, and vacancy rates sitting at about 5% for the region, long-term capital growth is the popular investment strategy, the Herron Todd White August report states.
If you’re a renter, the advice from both agents was to lock in your contracts now.
Both Gladstone agents agreed it was time to lock in rental agreements with landlords before rent prices spiked with the value of properties.
Check out our property guide with Saturday’s paper.
This article first appeared at www.gladstoneobserver.com.au